|Battle Cry||"We are the Emperor's pride. Hear us roar!"|
|Founding||Sometime in the 38th Millennium|
|Successors of||Imperial Fists|
|Strength||Less than 95, rebuilding|
|Specialty||Messing with the Inquisition, flanking tactics|
|Colours||Gold, with blue helmet and pauldrons.|
"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults, whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse."
- – The Bible, Proverbs 9:7 (New International Version)
The Celestial Lions (calling them "Celestial Loins" would be a joke in poor taste, given their tremendous losses of late) are a chapter of Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. They are an object lesson of what happens to people who try and mess with the Inquisition without serious backup (like being a First Founding chapter). It is unknown if the Inquisition is going to survive the return object lesson of what happens to those who fuck with the Space Marines. Especially Space Marines who are now best-buds with the Black Templars.
The Celestial Lions are a very brotherly, compassionate chapter, whose fraternal nature comes from the fact that they only recruit from the warrior tribes of the world Elysium IX. As they all come from a culture that values community, legacy, and courage, all the Lions hold those values as paramount. More than most other chapters, their world's culture holds sway in their conduct. The Lions are very informal to those within their own ranks, with even basic battle brothers talking to their superiors as brothers and equals, though they are disciplined on the battlefield and they show great respect to the officers of other forces, particularly the other sons of Dorn. Another quirk of their chapter culture is the value they place on storytelling and the great respect they give to talented storytellers. Within their chapter it is common for a squad to gather and tell stories of their heroes and their own exploits before an engagement. If an outsider is present in one of their ships or bases the visitor is expected to pay for their "food and fire" by telling a story from their own people's legends or that individuals exploits and as such they love serving alongside guardsman for the stories they tell. Though they are very different from their typical grim cousin chapters, they are proud sons of Dorn through and through. Most of this can be inferred from the short story in the Helsreach book.
Clash with the Inquisition
The Celestial Lions came into conflict with the Inquisition during the pacification of the world Khattar. Khattar was a Shrine World with a large, faithful population. When the upper echelons of the priesthood fell into worship of the Ruinous Powers, an Inquisitor Lord by the name of Apollyon (which is the Greek equivalent of "Destroyer", i.e. Abaddon) called for an Imperial Navy blockade of the world in addition to Astartes support, a call that the Celestial Lions answered. After months of brutal fighting, the Celestial Lions managed to cut the head off the local heretic priests, and with that, the world's population lost the will to fight and surrendered to the Astartes. As the Lions were withdrawing, Inquisitor Apollyon decided that since the priesthood had been corrupt, the surrendering and repentant civilian population must also be corrupt, so he ordered Exterminatus on the planet. The Lions were not fucking amused. After Apollyon refused to be held accountable for the senseless massacre, saying it was necessary, the Lions sent a Strike Cruiser with a delegation of Deathspeakers and Warleaders (Chaplains and Captains, respectively) to Holy Terra with the intention of entreating the High Lords of Terra to call the Inquisition to task over what they'd done. The ship was discovered two years later in Ork-controlled space, with nobody left alive in it, nowhere even close to its intended destination.
Third War for Armageddon
Fast-forward to the Third War for Armageddon. The entire chapter was deployed to a single hive, and thanks to spectacularly bad intelligence they ended up outnumbered, unsupported, and taking heavy losses at every battle, culminating in a mission in which the supposedly inactive Gargants they were sent to destroy proved to have been lying in wait for them along with several Ork warbands backing them up- all of which had apparently been warned of the Lions' planned attack some time beforehand. Matters came to a head when "Ork snipers" managed to take out most of the survivors (especially the Apothecaries), and their last Apothecary was found dead next to the Chapter's last Land Raider (having been shot through the head with a lasgun at point blank range and the gene-seed he was carrying stolen), leaving them without any means to recover the gene-seed from their fallen. The remaining 95 Lions realized that they had been marked for death and decided that they would fight off all the Orks on Armageddon or die trying, and contacted Chaplain Grimaldus of the Black Templars to administer their last rites, but he insisted that the remainder of the Chapter could still restore its honour (and thus be allowed to leave) by slaying the warlord leading the Ork forces in the area. To support his weakened cousins Grimaldus used his influence as the 'Hero of Helsreach' to get support from several regiments of Imperial Guard. While much of the remaining forces of the Celestial Lions were wiped out in the attack, they were successful in redeeming themselves when Ekene Dubaku killed the Orkish Warlord with Grimaldus's help. The Inquisition abandoned their campaign against the remaining Lion's as the lesson had been thoroughly learnt and the Black Templars were now aware of it. Ekene, the Lion's only surviving Pride Leader (i.e. Squad Sergeant) was then named the new Chapter Master and given a couple of parting gifts by High Marshal Helbrecht himself: a suit of relic Imperial Fists power armor dating back to the Great Crusade along with a matching Relic Blade and the Strike Cruiser Blade of the Seventh Son.
The Lions are now working to rebuild with the help of a temporary detachment of Black Templar specialists, including some apothecaries and techmarines. Though it'll be hard considering there's less than ninety-five of them left, another Imperial Fists successor chapter recovered from near-extinction in less than a century after being reduced to 12 Marines in total. Plus, while the Inquisition may get away with bullying later-founded chapters, it would be tantamount to suicide for anyone to mess with the largest space marine
legion chapter excluding the Dark Angels.
With the Indomitus Crusade going on. It's more than likely Guilliman sent some Primaris Marines to rebuild the Lions. This seems to be backed up by the fact that ADB is writing a book about an allied chapter, the Emperor's Spears, receiving Primaris reinforcements. One member of the chapter was also able to serve in the Deathwatch, implying they had the latitude to spare a marine.
Unfortunately though, the novel Spear of the Emperor states that Ekene Dubaku was beheaded by a Callidus posing as Thrall servant of Amadeus Kaias Incarius from the Mentors. Nobody expects the Inquisition indeed. Of course, this means the Inquisition, Officio Assassinorum, and the Mentors have dishonored and therefore majorly pissed off yet another Chapter and the Black Templars.
Out of universe this further proves that ADB is a hack for killing off cool characters to shill his OCs (debatable inasmuch Ekene Dubaku is also his OC). In universe on the other hand: "Ork snipers" could have been accepted for a time, grots are on the level of the human with the same ballistic skill after all. But now the Assassinorum has openly revealed itself in what most definitely qualifies as treason. Receiving Inquisitorial permission or orders to kill a Chapter for enforcing the Emperor's law is. . . complicated to say the least. On the face of it this is not an acceptable excuse for carrying out those blatantly treasonous orders, and the excuse of 'just following orders' has not flown since 945.M1. On the other hand, this is the Imperium of Man and the Inquisition basically IS the law. To put another way: if the Kryptman could have a whole moat of planets blown up to slow down a hive fleet, then basically this would not even be a drop in the grim dark bucket. All the Inqusition could have said is 'we have evidence he's a heretic take care of them' and the Assassinorum would not even have the authority to question that order. Except blowing up planets to stop a hive fleet is one thing, exterminating a Chapter of Space Marines for apparently no reason is something else entirely and would not be tolerated. Of course, with the player's knowledge we know there are so many sects in the Inquisition that it is likely one or more are conspiring to make this happen. It won't save the Inquisition from the rest of the Astartes getting pissed about it. The moment the Inquisition starts offing Chapters for getting in the way of pointless massacres and generally Space Marines doing their jobs is the moment the Astartes see the Inquisition as an obstacle to their duty. No obstacle to the Space Marines has ever survived their...removal.
Regardless when/if this gets back to Guilliman some heretics are gonna die and the Inquisition it self could take a major hit.
- "Ork Snipers" has since become slang for Vindicare assassins, or more generally for any implausible cover story for an Inquisition action.
- You know who else have golden armour, blue details and star patterns? Hammers of Sigmar. Funny, huh?
- Blue glitter paint, or clear glitter over blue, is much easier than painting individual stars.
- Also, "Ekene Dubaku" (Emperor rest his soul) is a badass as fuck name.
- They love catnip
- They do not use actual lions. Celestial or otherwise.
04:00- Wake-Up: The Celestial Lions awaken. They immediately recite a litany of hate upon the Inquisition.
05:00- Morning Prayer: The Celestial Lions pray to tell amazing stories, as well as troll the Inquisition. Any brother caught praying for mercy from the Inquisition is sent to the Deathwatch.
06:00- Morning Firing Rites: The Celestial Lions tell stories to each other, and laugh heartily amongst themselves. Their targets are painted to look like Inquisitors, though some of the targets look VERY life-like.
07:00- Morning Battle Practice: The Celestial Lions reenact battles they have been in to entertain the neophytes and children of the Imperium. Sometimes, a human dressed as an inquisitor will be the victim of a plethora of slapstick jokes.
08:00- Morning Feast: A great feast is prepared by the chapter serfs. The serfs are invited to join the battle brothers at the table as they tell stories and tales of heroic deeds. Any serf who has the best story about being a troll is immediately inducted into the scout company.
09:00- Tactical Indoctrination: The Celestial Lions gather to make fun of the Inquisition. All the Ordos, as well as the Deathwatch and Grey Knights are talked copius amounts of shit. However, any battle brother who sullies the name of the Sororitas is immediately appointed as the chapter's Inquisitorial laison for his heresy.
12:00- Afternoon Feast: The Chapter gathers to laugh and tell more stories of great deeds. Serfs are encouraged to participate, encouraging them to criticize and throw the best insult at the inquisition whenever possible.
14:00- Afternoon Firing Rites: Inquisitorial agents, soldiers, and assassins sent after them placed in a field for target practice. Many times, the chapter serfs are allowed to take a few shots as well.
16:00- Afternoon Battle Practice: The Celestial Lions meet with their Black Templar pals to practice melee and mechanized combat.
18:00- Evening Feast: The Celestial Lions, Black Templars, and chapter serfs all enjoy a nice meal. Everyone shares stories and tell of their feats, from killing T'au commanders and Ork Warbosses, to trolling Zis-chan.
19:00- Free time: The Celestial Lions tell each other more stories as their Templar friends depart. Whenever they find the Inquisitorial spy hiding in the air ducts, they drag him out and force him to watch video clips of T'au beating humans in melee. The sheer rage and disgust that appears on his face entertains the entire chapter.
20:00- Bedtime: The Celestial Lions let the spy go, and turn in for the day. Before they do so, the chapter master tells them all a bedtime story.
Black Templars Grimaldus and Pride Leader Ekene Dubaku kickin' Ork asses. Note how Grimaldus is far too much of a badass to look where he’s shooting.